The Sims is the most popular and the best artificial life game ever created. But it is not the only one game that tries to imitate life. Let’s have a look at what other games like The Sims there are and what is their gameplay like.

Before we will recommend you some computer games and online games like The Sims, we will have a closer look at what the highly interesting and distinctive subgenre of life simulation video games actually is.

Simulator games with best prices

Life simulation Video Games – What Is It All About?

Life simulation video games or artificial life games is a subgenre of simulating games. They allow a player to take on a role and control a protagonist’s virtual life. The player either controls one character’s life or a group of characters – depending on the type of video game. There are also some roleplaying games in which the character is a pet or another animal.

Check the Sims 4 trailer to see what you can do in such games

The Origin of Life Simulation Games

Roots of artificial life games go back to artificial life research. The great example was Conway’s Game of Life from 1970. The first game, in which the player could to some extent control the life of the protagonist, was Little Computer People from 1985 released for Commodore 64. The player could type requests aimed at virtual characters living in a house.

A similar formula was revamped and deeply broadened in The Sims 15 years later. In the meantime, the 90s saw the rise of digital pets games like Tamagotchi or Petz.


Tamagotchi – popular digital pet

Types Of Life Simulation Video Games

There are a few types of games in this subgenre:

  • Digital pets, in which the player controls the life of a pet by feeding it, training, maintaining, and watching its behavior; the animal can be based on a real one or might be a fantasy creature,
  • Biological simulation games, in which the player manages a whole population of humans or creatures over a few generations; the goals need to be achieved with the population as a whole, not with individuals; another name for such game is genetic artificial life game,
  • Social simulation games, which are generally all the games like The Sims, in which the player controls an individual and a great focus is put on its relations with other characters, its social and love life; these games are sometimes referred to as the virtual dollhouse.

What Aspects Of Life You Can Control In Such Games?

Generally speaking, the gameplay in life simulation video games revolves around an individual or people and their lives in their biological, social, and economical aspects, as well as relationships between the protagonist(s) and other characters. The main task is to grow and maintain a population of organisms that can be controlled.

Life and nature Simulation

Depending on the game, the players have their say about what the character looks like, when it sleeps, when and what it eats, what it does in free time, how it plays etc. In cases of managing humans, the player also decides what kind of clothes the character wears, what its relationship with other humans are, what its profession is, whether it has a family or not, what its pets are and much more. In addition, many life simulation games involve building houses, or whole residential areas and virtual villages for the characters.

The Player’s Influence on The Game’s Environment

Artificial life games are mostly working like a sandbox mode. There are no specific goals and tasks to achieve. The storyline is loose – it is up to the player what the life of the protagonist or the group of people he controls will look like. There are no missions. What limits the player is mainly his or her imagination.

In many games, including The Sims, there is also an option of building houses or entire virtual villages, thus the influence of the player’s decision on the game’s environment is huge. If he or she won’t build the house, furnish it, create a character and maintain it, the game simply won’t run its course. The player is the creator with a godlike position.

Life Simulation Games: Sims as best Example

The Sims 4

Microsoft Windows (Origin platform)
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
ModeSingle Player, Offline
DeveloperThe Sims Studio

A Perfect Example Of Life Simulation Game The latest installment of the series, that sold 200 million copies worldwide – it is one of the best-sellers of all times. Create your character from scratch by choosing their posture, face, or hairstyle from a lot of options. There are also available ready-to-play characters.

The Sims 4

You manage all the aspects of a sim life and, most of all, its relations with other inhabitants of the house or a village he lives in. What is more, you are also the creator of this house and the residential area. The newest DLC, Seasons, allows the player to control weather and celebrate various holidays all year round.

Expansion Packs for The Sims 4

List of games similar to Sims

GameScreenshotsTrailerRead more under linkYear
Shelter 2Shelter 2 surivival simulationShelter 2 TrailerBUY CHEAPER2015
Animal Crossing New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)Animal Crossing NintendoAnimal Crossing TrailerBUY CHEAPER2012
AcademagiaAcademagia gameAcademagia TrailerBUY CHEAPER2010

Second Life

second life game like simsN/A2003

Spore Ultimate Collection

Spore pc game - simulatorBUY CHEAPER2018

Feature game close to Sims

Second Life — The Online World

Microsoft Windows
ModeMulti-Player, Co-Op, Online
DeveloperLinden Lab

The online virtual world, whose developers decline to even call it a game – as it has no objectives or pre-defined conflicts and all the action depends on the users’ decisions.

The players are called the residents and they explore the world (called the grid) with the digital representatives of themselves – the avatars. They can interact with other residents, places, or objects. The Second Life platform can be accessed via its developer’s Lindens Lab’s program or third-party viewers. It is open to everyone and based on an open-source license.


Spore — Managing a Civilization of Creatures

ModeSingle Player, Offline

Available for Mac and for PC, a famous life simulation game that revolves around creating your own species. The gameplay is divided into various stages and each of it covers different phase of life of the species.

There are: the Cell Stage, the Creature Stage, the Trial Stage, the Civilization Stage and the Space Stage. Spore gives the player enormous creative abilities and thus a lot of fun. You can follow your creature from birth to being a part of the whole species. Spore is a mix of life simulation, role playing game, elements of real-time strategy, and action.